anuary has a well-earned reputation as the month when the dregs of Hollywood movies get unceremoniously released and quickly forgotten. The studios use the post-holidays, pre-Oscars limbo to burn off the overblown action movies, unfunny comedies, and rejected Oscar bait they have sitting on their shelves, some of which were pushed back from a higher-profile release once it became clear that the finished product was unsalvageable. This January managed to produce at least one well-received, popular movie that ushered in the New Year: Lone Survivor. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean the rest of the month was any less terrible. Here are 10 of the most scathingly reviewed movies from January, in the words of the critics who hated them most:
1. The Legend of Hercules, starring Kellan Lutz, Liam McIntyre, and Roxanne McKee (3 percent positive reviews)
"While The Legend Of Hercules offers plenty for viewers who've acquired a taste for the fake and incompetent (not the least of which is the dialogue, which finds characters saying each other's names at the end of every other sentence), it's unlikely to please anyone who wants entertainment in the conventional sense." — Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, The AV Club
2. That Awkward Moment, starring Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, and Imogen Poots (23 percent positive reviews)
"Maybe in development this movie needed an awkward moment of its own — one where the filmmaker was taken aside by one or more older, preferably female studio executives, who'd read him some of his script out loud." — Stephen Whitty, The Star-Ledger.
3. Ride Along, starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube (17 percent positive reviews)
"Ride Along...gives shoddiness a bad name." — Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
4. I, Frankenstein, starring Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, and Yvonne Strahovski (5 percent positive reviews)
"Eckhart plays Frankenstein's monster in a monotonous, teeth-gritting mode, as if someone had one gun on him and another on his family." — David Edelstein, New York Magazine
5. Cold Comes the Night, starring Bryan Cranston and Alice Eve (41 percent positive reviews)
"Trying circumstances notwithstanding, most of the film's major happenings are either illogical or, much more damningly, not especially thrilling." — Michael Nordine, The Village Voice
6. Reasonable Doubt, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Dominic Cooper (14 percent positive reviews)
"This utterly unmemorable, uninspired and unnecessary genre exercise should fade from view so fast they might just as soon have called it Without a Trace." — Scott Foundas, Variety
7. Gimme Shelter, starring Vanessa Hudgens, Brendan Fraser, James Earl Jones, and Rosario Dawson (23 percent positive reviews)
"From an artistic perspective, Ron Krauss' heavy-handed drama, Gimme Shelter, fails almost entirely. But if the director set out to combine the stilted falsity of 1980s after-school specials with leaden political dogma, he's certainly achieved his goals." — Elizabeth Weitzman, Daily News
8. Summer in February, starring Dominic Cooper, Dan Stevens, and Emily Browning (37 percent positive reviews)
"Compared with the tepid contretemps of Summer in February, the soap-opera theatrics of Downton Abbey have the depth of Chekhov." — Stephen Holden, The New York Times
9. The Wait, starring Chloë Sevigny, Jena Malone, and Luke Grimes (20 percent positive reviews)
"I could no more tell you what it's trying to say than I could successfully stow away on the first space shuttle to Saturn, although I promise you that trip would be half as long." — Rex Reed, New York Observer
10. Free Ride, starring Anna Paquin, Drea de Matteo, and Cam Gigandet (14 percent positive reviews)
"It's unspeakably depressing to see Anna Paquin playing the mom (of a teenager!), but the pointlessness and mediocrity of the Paquin-produced Free Ride is even more depressing." Kyle Smith, New York Post
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- The world's dumbest idea: Taxing solar energy
- Why would a young person today be religious?
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent
- Why Good Friday is so important to Christians
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why we can't stop procrastinating, according to science
- Why I'm a pro-life liberal
Subscribe to the Week